During the youth exchange, participants identified various problems in their communities, such as:
Racism, Xenophoby and Exclusion
Lack of awareness of a negative influence of animal industry on the environment and people’s health.
Climate change, Active mobilty and inclusive cites
Air pollution and reforestation
Ignorance about HIV
Kids health problems
Unemployment of Roma Community
Indifference and frustration of young people, lack of activism
Lack of opportunities for youth in small towns and therefore migration of youth
Lost of harvest or vegetables that market does not accept
In some cases, participants worked together as a team / for example if living in the same community. If not, they prepared
Indifference and frustration of young people in my village, lack of activism and contribution in solving problems in their surroundings. In my village Slovenska Lupca I see a problem with young generation, my generation, who has a lot of complains about anything, but actually is doing nothing for making any step for change. They are also very vulnerable to some toxic political parties which provide them simple solutions but with no respect to all members of the society. I know that a lot of them are very frustrated and I would like to somehow give them courage to not just listen ideas of somebody, but also trying to make their own action to change current unsatisfactory situation. In my view is very important to have active youth that is a future of our world. Helping teachers of regional education to implement project base teaching and also mentoring pupils in preparing their own projects. As a part of regional education students will have to find out the problem in their close environment, which is annoying them and try to do their best to change it somehow or at least to try it. It can be whatever from why are school kitchens throwing away too much food to the lack of transparency in local government office. Students are not just gathering complaints, but they have to define the core problem, try to find out a solution, communicate it with the others and in the end also try to apply it to see if it could really change the situation. Of course that they should be working in a teams and have mentors but I think it can help them in critical thinking and mobilize them in doing something for their community which they are also part of it.
Racism and xenophobia – it happens very often in my town that people are very intolerant to each other, xenophobic and racistic. This issue is very important for me, because I want people in our community/town (Dubnica nad Vahom) to understand, that we should be more open-minded and to realize that no matter what race or religion we are, we are all equal. By making a sport event to build connections and relationships between mayor and menor communities in Slovakia (Roma community, foreigners living in Slovakia), I would like to fight racism and xenophobia through the sports, sport workshops and team-building activities.
Exclusion and unemployment of disadvantaged people – the Roma minority belongs to a disadvantaged group of people in Slovakia. They suffer from a high rate of unemployment and it is necessary to integrate them into the society. Therefore, my idea is to create social company by employing people belonging to this minority and we would like to create folk clothes.
Lack of knowledge and awareness of a negative influence of animal industry on the environment, animals and people’s health.
It is important to me to promote sustainable and ecological approach towards lifestyle, compassion towards living beings, plant-based diet as well as to spread knowledge about organic farming and circular economy. I want to create a hub that would be a combination of co-working space, food cooperative, cafeteria and place where various events would take place.
I want to involve people from different backgrounds such as environmentalists, activists, artists, designers, influencers and simply everyone who cares about bringing a positive change to the environment.
I want to create space for the exchange of good practices and create a network of individuals/organizations who want to contribute to the protection of the environment through daily little choices. I want to facilitate creation of a channel through which they will be able to sell and promote their products/crafts/events etc. My plan is to organize thematic evenings which will take place regularly and will promote ecological awareness, for example: documentaries sreenings, workshops etc.
Racism in my community – It is important to tackle this phenomenon from micro-realities as the local communities are, in order to reach a wider effect in the society. The idea is to involve the citizens in order to raise awareness as well as dispel the prejudices, stereotypes and hate speech related to them through the creation of a common and comfortable space for interaction, discussion and exchange of opinions/perspectives and the exploitation of the power of Social Medias.
How? Through: – Local projects involving schools, youth centres and NGOs regarding the abovementioned topics; -Raising awareness and exchange of thoughts during organized sessions in local cafés. – Social Media Campaign targeted at raising awareness through personal testimonials and real statistics/data
Ignorance about HIV – We have to open again the chapter of AIDS. My idea is to organize an event, with concert, in which the people could come, they could enjoy and find different gazebos to try the HIV test and discover more about it having a briefing with the nurses. A famous band has to play because they have to promote and encourage the people to do the test.
The problem on Inclusion in Europe – Because I experienced moving abroad in a new city, with all the difficulties it can include. People face difficulties moving into new city or country. Therefore, the idea is to link people by culture and by differences. Specifically, the aim is to get to know local culture and traditions to the foreigners by food festivals, language exchange, trips and theme parties.
Kids health problems – I would like to improve health for children in primary schools by teaching professors in secondary schools through experts about the concept of health. Then the teachers will be able to teach children better,
Immigration of young people.
Our city, Valandovo, was a city with the best atmosphere to live in, a close connection between people, no matter the generations. A city without ethical or political conflict between Macedonians or other nationalities.Something happens back in 2006. The city struggles and people’s poverty appears at the top of everyday life. In general, things went all the way down. The young and well educated people began to immigrate, to look for a new challenge in life, the opportunities in the home town were not enough. A lot of sections went out of order like NGOs, folklore ensembles, latino dancing clubs, private lessons for languages, educational and so on.
Born and raised in Valandovo, a small town in the south-east part of our country North Macedonia. It was a pure pleasure to live and work here. A pleasant and peaceful small town surrounded by a lot of love. But now things have changed and young people began to immigrate and find their future and life somewhere else than their home. They start feeling stack into an unsuccessful community. We need to do something and change these things. We’ve got some brilliant ideas to open a youth center for all the kids from our local environment, where we can work on many different things and aspects, help them build a strong community and through work, play games and many other activities, to develop your own personal skills.
Air pollution in my community. My action plan is about air pollution in Skopje. As you already know, every winter Skopje becomes one of the most polluted capitals in the world. Exactly, according to CNN we are on the top, the most polluted city this winter. The reasons for the pollution in Skopje, are mainly the households, old private and public transport vehicles (especially buses) and the industries’ low interest in sustaining the environment. We should think about solving this problem. So, to protect ourselves from ACID rain, skin issues, illnesses, allergies etc., we should act. My proposal is mainly about ecological transport. I have already made one project about differences in using different public transport. It had a lot of positive reactions and over 60000 people watched it. I am proud of me and my friends because we encouraged a lot of people to think about the environment. And now we would like to do next one.
Lack of opportunities for youth in my community – I would like to create Youth center in my home town Shtip and to provide equal opportunities for everyone in our country. Because in the smallest cities youngsters don’t have places and organisations to educate, to use the benefits of non- formal education. The education is the key for the success. First we will start with one NGO that is now active in Shtip. We will inform the youngsters in the primary schools and high schools about the opportunities where they can learn and to have fun for free. We will have a free language courses, free workshops for digital skills. The center will be separated in two parts, one for primary school and the other one for high school. During the work there will be the volunteers to help. They could use the place for free and to organize such a activities for them, like a movie nights.
Hatred in my Community – Since 2001, the people here are living segregated. Macedonians and Albanians go in different cafes, parks, different schools, libraries etc. but the fights between these two nationalities are not rare and they happen often especially while football matches and public holidays. People live in fear and hatred and they create an unsuccessful community. People from both nationalities are moving to the capital of Macedonia or to other countries, just because there is not a common understanding and helping.
My idea for at least minimizing this huge problem is opening a Youth Center. It will be a cozy room, with a lot of light and art. The kids and youth (Macedonians, Albanians, Roma kids) could come after schools, write their homework, ask for help from the others, play some board games, chess etc. Every Wednesday, we can organize English lessons, every Thursday- movie night. And every second weekend, we can organize some event outdoors. Ex. clean some park, or adopt/ help some street dog or cat etc.
Team from Costa Rica identified 2 problems in their community that they would like to address:
1. Urbanization, accessible and inclusive cities, climate change, because by 2050, 70% of the population will live in cities, that means that we need to start addressing problems related to life in the urban centers like sustainable mobility, accessible cities, inclusive cities, climate change, and others. Therefore, first step, they would like to organize event, meeting of citizens and experts and talk about those problems, exchange ideas and to co-create solutions.
2. Air pollution, climate change, reforestation – the idea is to create campaign in which people will plant trees and receive environmental education, such as information on how to separate trash to recycle.
Brazil Team identified as biggest problem in their community – Homelessness and social inequality. Therefore, their idea is first to map the reasons that led homeless people to be in the homeless situation in order to help them with what each one really needs and reintegrate them to society again. Afterwards, their idea is to create a center where homeless people would be able to get free showers, haircuts clothes as well as psychosocial care center.
Uruguayan team would like to address the problem of wasting a lot of vegetables/harvest that market does not accept by bringing them to schools in their community – San Jacinto. The name of their project is “From the Soil to the Table” and it is about improvement of relationship between schools and farmers. They don’t want anymore to throw away food and help schools that need this donation. They would like also to provide informative talks among students about topics like good nutrition, food waster, overweight etc. as well as to create visual campaign about healthy habits. This project connects healthy habits as well as education of children.